Gotta Find My Baby!

October 27, 2022

Heading Home (CD - PA, 2017)

Heading Home
PA [---]
Number of tracks:
Running time:
Type of album:
Linked to:
Unofficial discography
October 27, 1976

Heading Home is a CD by the bootleg label PA. It features the full October 27, 1976 concert in Carbondale, Illinois, which closed the October 1976 tour.

1976 had been a year of more ups than downs and Elvis was happy with how things were going. His desire to record was still low, but the sessions at Graceland's Jungle Room were fun and very productive. He no longer seemed interested in Las Vegas, and Vegas was reciprocal, causing the Colonel to cast him for just one season from December 2-12 at the Hiltonthis, as we know today, would be the last season of his career in the city. Rather than the dry air of the Nevada desert, the King of Rock chose to do just one more season in Lake Tahoe—where he had last performed two years earlier—between April 30 and May 9, 1976.

By the middle of that year, it didn't look like Elvis had returned to his old form or that that was possible. His performances were still erratic, and he would be slow and sometimes confused at the start of the concerts, though nothing like the terrible performances of August 1975 in Las Vegas. In fact, the singer would greatly improve his performance starting in June, culminating in the great show of December 31, 1976 in Pittsburgh, but it was clear that he no longer had that flame that burned in his core.

Concerts in July through September were also a clear sign of his tiredness with everything, with the show on July 30, 1976 in New Haven being one of the worst. October would see a little improvement in Chicago on the 14th and 15th, but the season would unfortunately be inconsistent throughout.

By the end of October, Elvis seemed to feel better. His concerts in Fort Worth, Indiana, and Dayton, Ohio, on the 25th and 26th, respectively, were somewhat akin to those in March 1974.

PA brings us here the undoubtedly best concert in October 1976, the tour closing on the 27th in Carbondale, Illinois. Elvis was wide awake, well rested and in the mood.

Below is our review of this work.

- 1. Also Sprach Zarathustra: The fanfare announces the start of the show. We only hear the last 30 seconds of it.

- 2. See See Rider: Elvis starts the show with a very strong voice. The version is energetic throughout and it even remembers us of the 1974 ones.

- 3. I Got a Woman / Amen: Elvis only says good evening and announces he'll "make the rounds" before starting his "well, well, well..." routine. His rendition is a lot faster than we are used to hear and it sounds like we're in Vegas in December 1975. The singer gets a note wrong and immediately asks the band to stop and restart the song, showing everybody he was wide awake. The "striptease" routine makes the women go nuts and JD's dive bombs takes us to the end of the song.

- 4. Love Me: After saying that it's a pleasure to be there and that they'll do their best to entertain the crowd, Elvis starts the song and uses it for the already known "kiss and scarf" moment. He stretches the end for the backing vocals' desperation.

- 5. Fairytale: "This next song, is a song in an album that we did and it's the story of my life." As usual, the song gets a fine treatment. Present in the repertoire since March 1975, it always gets Elvis in the mood to sing his soul out.

6. You Gave Me a Mountain: When Elvis is inspired, he takes a song to its full glory. This is a very nice version for 1976.

- 7. Jailhouse Rock: As usual, the attention is in the fans, but the song is well performed. Maybe the inspirations from the last two songs bled a little into this.

- 8. Help Me: Elvis and the Gospel have always formed a very well polished duo. His rendition is amazing here and the audience even awes at it. The very last second of the song is unfortunately cut due to bad distortion in the tape.

- 9. All Shook Up: The hits medley starts. The first part of the song is also cut due to tape damage, but nothing important is lost as its the usual "kiss and scarf" throwaway song.

- 10. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel: Another throwaway.

- 11. And I Love You So: With his voice still strong, this versions sounds amazing and intimate. It's really bad that its cut in the last second due to tape damage.

- 12. Fever: Just a show-filler so Elvis can do more of his "kiss and scarf" stuff, but very well performed.

- 13. America, the Beautiful: "I'd like to do our version of 'America, the Beautiful' for you." It's the bicentennial year and everyone is feeling patriotic. Elvis makes an excellent rendition.

- 14. Polk Salad Annie: In the new 1976 arrangement, this song really rocks. The bass drives it perfectly.

- 15. Band Introductions: Elvis introduces The Sweet Inspirations, JD Sumner and The Stamps (introduced individually), Sherrill Nielsen and Kathy Westmoreland.

- 16. Early Morning Rain: As usual, Elvis sings along to John Wilkinson's solo.

- 17. What'd I Say: First James Burton Solo.

- 18. Johnny B. Goode: James shows his technique playing his guitar in the back if his head in his second solo.

- 19. Drum Solo: It's Ronnie Tutt's time to showcase his talent.

- 20. Bass Solo: Jerry Scheff plays the Blues.

- 21. Piano Solo: Tony Brown is introduced.

- 22. Electric Piano Solo: David Briggs does his thing.

- 23. Love Letters: "The first time that David and I worked together, it was his first recording sessions and we did a song called 'Love Letters'." Elvis sings his 1966 hit.

- 24. Hail, Hail Rock 'n' Roll: Elvis introduces Charlie Hodge, Joe Guercio and his orchestra. The track ends abruptly due to tape damage.

- 25. Hurt: Unfortunately, the damage in the tape makes us lose the feel of the song, but it's well performed and has a nice reprise at the end.

- 26. Hound Dog: Another crowd pleasing, throwaway song. Two solos by Sherrill Nielsen ("Danny Boy" and "Walk With Me") and one by Kathy Westmoreland ("My Heavenly Father") followed this rendition, but were cut to save time.

- 27. Blue Christmas:  Elvis teases the audience about singing "Heartbreak Hotel" and even sings a few lines quickly, but fans had asked and his heart was already set on"Blue Christmas".  This was a rare song that he'd only do on Christmas season almost every time, so the audience really loves the surprise. The rendition is average.

- 28. That's All Right: This was another very rare song by 1976, performed only a few times since 1972. Elvis does a really good job with a faster version that makes the crowd go crazy.

- 29. Can't Help Falling in Love: Elvis addresses the audience a little before thanking his group and saying his goodbyes. As usual, he sings while giving the last kisses and scarves away.

- 30. Closing Vamp: A small excerpt of the closing fanfare can be heard.

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